Are PECB exams open-book or closed-book?

There are two exam types:

Multiple choice “closed-book” exam, where the candidates are not authorized to use anything but the exam paper and pen/pencil.

Essay type “open-book” exam, where the candidates are authorized to use only the following reference materials:

  • A copy of the standard in hard copy,
  • Course notes from the Participant Handout,
  • Any personal notes made by the student during the course,
  • A hard copy dictionary.

Can I eat or drink during the exam?

Smoking, eating or drinking is not permitted. Candidates are allowed to consume only water during the exam. Water should be contained in such a way as to avoid spilling accidents. In case of a spilling accident, the candidate alone will be held responsible, and his/her exam will not be replaced nor will he/she be granted extra time to finish the exam. In case of a written exam if the exam proves to be illegible due to the spilling accident, the candidate will automatically receive a failing grade. You will also find specific exam rules in the candidate identification sheet.

Coupon Code

As there are fees for scheduling an online PECB Exam and submitting a PECB Certificate application, Resellers will provide Course participants with coupon codes through their PECB Reseller Dashboard.

PECB course participants are provided with coupon codes, which depending on the event exam type, can be used for:

If the event exam type is paper-based, the coupon code is valid for:

  • Applying for the Certification if the exam is passed successfully;

If the event exam type is online, the coupon code is valid for:

  • Scheduling one first take online exam session;
  • Schedule one retake online exam session (if you have failed the first attempt);
  • Waive the Certificate application fee;

Participants will be provided with the coupon code via email from the PECB system, and in case the email is lost or not successfully delivered, the coupon code can also be found within the Course Content tab under the Coupon Code column.

The coupon code is bound to a specific PECB account and to a specific course. The coupon code cannot be used by another PECB account, nor for another PECB course.

Exam Tips

On the day of the exam:

  1. Plan to arrive at the exam site at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
  2. Get a good night’s rest the night before.
  3. Exam will last 3 hours. Eat a well-balanced meal prior to reporting to the exam center. Avoid excessive stimulants such as caffeine.
  4. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask the Proctor for clarification if you are not sure about the instructions.
  5. Periodically check your progress. This will allow you to make any adjustments in time. Pay attention to the time you have left to finish the exam.
  6. Only the questions you answer correctly are scored. There are no penalties for answering a question incorrectly, so answer as many questions as you can. If you are unsure of a response, eliminate as many options as possible, and choose an option from those that remain.

How to register for an exam?

As a global provider of training, examination, audit, and certification services, certification exams are offered through our worldwide Resellers.

To find a training provider in your region, please check our Resellers List.

Or sign up for a PECB training course with exam from our Event Schedule.

A candidate who needs special accommodations must make the request in writing and allow an extra two weeks for processing the application. Download the Special Accommodations for Candidates with Disabilities Form

What is a sequential number?

A Sequential Number is a serial number that indicates the number of the candidates. If there is only one candidate, the sequential number written in the forms A and B is 1. If the number of candidates is more than one, the sequential numbers written in the forms A and B are 1, 2, 3, 4,…, etc. (depending on the total number of candidates).

What is PECB’s exam cancellation policy?

For changes regarding the paper-based examination date, time, location or other details please contact your PECB training provider.

What is the duration of an exam?

The duration of the exam varies according to the type of examination scheme taken:

  • Foundation exam: 1 hour
  • Manager exams: 2 hours
  • Lead-exams: 3 hours


Additional time can be provided to candidates taking the exam in a language different than their mother tongue, when requested by the candidates on the exam day:

  • Foundation exam: 10 minutes
  • Manager exams:  20 minutes
  • Lead-exams: 30 minutes

For more details, please visit https://pecb.com/examination

What is the exam structure and domains?

Each exam has its own competency domains that require the candidates to demonstrate their competency in order to pass the exam. To know the competency domains for each exam, please visit the exams section on our website, and then choose the exam you are interested in and check the section “content of the exam” where you will find information about competency domains of that exam.

For example, if you visit this link you will see that the 7 competency domains for ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Implementer exam are as follows:

  • Domain 1: Fundamental information security principles and concepts
  • Domain 2: Planning an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 3: Implementing an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 4: Information security control best practices, based on ISO 27002
  • Domain 5: Performance evaluation, monitoring and measurement of an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 6: Continuous improvement of an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 7: Preparing for an ISMS certification audit